The 9 Most Creative MMA Attacks Ever
A fight isn't always the best place to be clever. You can prove this at home by arguing with a woman, but I'm actually talking about combat sports. Adrenaline, fatigue, and face punches are the enemies of creative thought. If you're standing in front of a man and inventing secret techniques to defeat him, you learn quickly that his idea to just grab and bonk you was better. That's why it's so special when someone in a fight comes up with an entirely new way to beat someone's ass. Here are nine of my favorites.
Genki Sudo's Giant Swing
It's hard to wrap your head around Genki Sudo. He spent most of his fights grinning, dancing, or checking to see if Bruce Lee moves actually worked. Then he retired to start a robot techno band and write free-spirit books like Let's Be, Cat! He started his fights by leading a parade of costumed dancers to the ring and ended them by holding up a friendship flag. My point is, he behaves strangely for a man who kicks people for a living. It's suspiciously like he and Zooey Deschanel just got done coveting each other's lives while holding the same magical amulet. Is she maybe in an adult dodgeball league somewhere, screaming in Japanese and elbowing a man in the neck?
I'm glad he became a fighter because walking to a cage dressed in a steam-launching KFC bucket would have been insane under other circumstances.
In the year 2000, Sudo fought a man named Craig Oxley. It was on Halloween night, which may explain Sudo's mullet. His head looked like it bought a last minute costume at Walgreens. He had the hair of a meth dealer's 10-year-old. This joke may lose something in translation, but his hair was so ridiculous that barbers in Mexico call it "Haircut #2."
"Deluxe ROCKU STARU Wig! For size all and up!"
Despite his manic pixie dreaminess, Sudo was always a beast with his grappling. As soon as he stopped doing the cha cha and took a fight to the ground, he went after his opponent like a squid beating its wife. Craig Oxley learned this as he got dumped on his back and nearly submitted three different times in 60 seconds. Oxley narrowly escaped the onslaught and regained guard, or, if you don't understand MMA, here's a haiku:
Craig Oxley wrestled,
sad face wrapped in legs of the
In the year 2000, the standard attack from your opponent's guard was to patiently rest on his chest until the crowd booed. Sudo tried something else. He sprang to his feet, still holding Oxley's ankles, and started spinning him like a helicopter. Yes, Genki Sudo attacked a man -- in a real fight -- with a giant swing.
Traditionally, the best way to avoid this move is to have a falling out with your figure skating partner.
Was the Move Effective?
The giant swing has fallen out of use in professional wrestling, mostly because it's pointless and ridiculous. Today it's only used in position-of-the-day sex calendars, for precisely the same reasons. Sudo was doing more than screwing around, though. After two fun twirls, he dropped to his back with an Achilles hold already locked in, forcing Oxley to tap. Achilles locks are just painful rather than crippling, so it's rare to see one finish a professional fight. It might be possible that Genki Sudo had a secret plan to act so silly that his opponent's body stopped generating adrenaline. But ... that'd be crazy, right?
Crazy like a fox. Fwooosh!!!
Edwin Dewees' Blood Drop
In a quarterfinal match of The Ultimate Fighter's fourth season, Edwin "Bam Bam" Dewees fought Gideon Ray. It became immediately clear that Dewees was better on the ground. He threw Ray down and spent five minutes molding him into painful positions. It looked like he was using this poor man's body to pitch a line of fun pasta shapes to Chef Boyardee.
WARNING: May contain GMOs.
Ray survived the first round, but went to his corner feeling as doomed as a box of beef anuses addressed to Chef Boyardee.
The second round started exactly the same -- with a man sitting on Ray's chest, twisting and ramming him like a mallard penis battling its way through a duck vagina. While this was happening, Dewees' face suddenly exploded. Blood gushed out of his forehead in thick, ropey cascades. It's hard to tell what caused it, but Ray's panic-like flailing from the bottom had ruptured something.
The referee called a timeout to see why Dewees had begun turning inside out. They rubbed the blood around with a towel and restarted the fight with Dewees on top. Unfortunately, none of that is how you treat a squirting face hole. Dewees had no choice but to hold his head's blood in with one hand while he beat the shit out of Ray with his other. And the stupidest thing about that was that it worked. He was winning a fight one-handed and comically doing nothing to stop his forehead from gushing blood. Edwin Dewees wasn't simply kicking ass -- he was inventing pornography for sharks.
Band-Aids are for pussies!
Dewees continued to throw punches, but a 185-pound man only holds so much blood. When you're seeing quart after quart of your fluids pour onto the floor, there's a point where you stop punching and start doing math. That's when Bam Bam risked a surge of brain blood to hatch a brilliant scheme. I know MMA is often attacked by homophobes, so I want to describe this as heterosexually as possible -- Dewees pulled away, carefully aimed the hole on the tip of his head, and dumped salty DNA all over the other shirtless man's face and mouth. Ray's response was about what you'd expect:
"Psst! Hey, Gideon. I don't use condoms. Cough."
Was the Move Effective?
It's hard to say how much bleeding all over someone helps win a fight. In fact, it did the opposite here. After Dewees clearly won the second round, the judges couldn't figure out who won. On one hand, Ray wasn't as good at fighting. On the other, most of his opponent was spread across several puddles. How does one determine the winner of an amateur blood transfusion? Well, under the circumstances, they made the worst possible decision. They called it a draw and made them fight a third round. To their credit, it's possible they were trying to develop a home remedy for sickle cell anemia.
Bam Bam came out strong in the third, since he had already lost all the blood that was in charge of telling his body it was running out of blood. Plus, his ability to leak into his opponent's eyes and mouth gave him a major psychological advantage. Ray spent the round clinging to Dewees' chest -- the MMA equivalent of screaming for help. Instead of stopping the fight, the ref just watched as Dewees used pushups to bash Ray's skull against the mat. It looked like a workout video for mothers currently giving birth. Gideon Ray and Edwin Dewees were very nearly the first two men to die simultaneously during breast-feeding. I think Dewees was finally declared the winner, but it was hard to hear over the half-summoned demon demanding to know who fucked up this blood ritual.
Marcus Aurelio's Double Armada Kick
From the moment this fight began, it was obvious Marcus Aurelio wanted to win using only capoeira. It's a martial art with mysterious origins, but most historians agree it was developed by 12th century male cheerleaders in order to blow dry each other's hair.
Aurelio jerked in and out before throwing a jumping, spinning nothing -- just a 360. For a few seconds, he missed wildly with twirling punches and leaping kicks. It was a flurry of maniacal attacks normally only seen after your girlfriend says, "OK, stop for a second so I can figure out my buttons."
Suddenly Aurelio quit screwing around. He launched a kick that began with two cartwheels and ended with a footnado on his opponent's face. It impacted with all the furious sound of Brendan Fraser laughing at a joke.
Was the Move Effective?
Holy crap, yes. That kick hit so hard, scientists found the Higgs boson on that poor man's face remains. And the acrobatics didn't stop there. As soon as the fight ended, one of Aurelio's cornermen catapulted himself into the ring with a handspring. Now it was time for his other cornerman to enter the ring, and by this point he'd look like an asshole if he didn't do some kind of flip or roll or cartwheel. He decided on a combination of all three, performing a capoeira movement that probably translates to "The Afterbirth Flops."
Johnathan Ivey's Double Roll
In 2010, UFC Hall of Famer Ken "The Most Dangerous Man in the World" Shamrock faced Johnathan Ivey, a man with 44 losses and a beer belly.
It was a match so perfect and not absurd that it barely brings to mind this film:
More like FINALLY: The Movie.
Like you'd expect from two loose cannons with everything to lose, Shamrock and Ivey stood in the center of the cage and traded cautious, gentle attacks for 11 minutes. Ivey knew he had to do something to keep his body from thinking this was a nap, so he pounded his own fist into his chest! Shamrock responded with trepidatious circling!! It was the battle to end all battles!!!
Above: The best two hits of the fight.
I'm sure it would have been a fantastic motivational speech for apes, but Ivey's chest thumping did nothing to liven this fight up. It wound down to the final seconds, and Ivey was so fatigued, he could barely get his kicks to leave the ground. Shamrock was doing even less, sleepily watching the struggle from a safe distance. What was once a cage fight was now merely a rugged setting for partner line dance. The clock counted down as Ivey nudged nearby air with his foot. With only seconds left, he suddenly remembered his secret weapon and favorite cinnamon delivery system -- the Double Roll.
He dropped into a somersault, letting one foot trail behind him. I'm not sure you'd call it a kick ... more as if Ivey saw the way institutionalized greed was killing our ability to love and this artistic movement was the only way he could express it. His kick glided harmlessly past an area Shamrock's face never was nor had reason to be. Shamrock was baffled, then baffled again when Ivey repeated it.
Was the Move Effective?
You don't have to be a paranormalist to know what happens to the fabric of our reality when a man shaped like Ivey tries to get acrobatic. By the time he started his second somersault, timekeepers heard a voice say "Zuul." However, Ken Shamrock was fine. The kick was so gentle, pastry chefs called Ivey's fight manager to ask what he charges to transport cakes.
If you're wondering what would happen if this deadly somersault kick ever did collide with a human skull, Matt Riddle landed one at UFC 154. It didn't seem to hurt. Plus, his post-fight drug screening revealed he was high when he attempted it. Normally marijuana isn't considered a performance-enhancing substance, but how else would you think something so stupidly awesome was an option?
Mark Hunt's Atomic Butt Drop
At Pride Shockwave 2004, Wanderlei Silva was supposed to face Kazushi Sakuraba. They had fought three times before, and Silva won all of them in the first round by savage murder, broken shoulder, and smashed face, respectively. Sakuraba's chances weren't great. In fact, his afterparty was scheduled inside several patients in need of organ transplants.
Fans of preventable head trauma may be sad to learn that at the last minute, Sakuraba dropped out of the fight. This posed a problem. Sakuraba is a creative wrestler and submission artist, and he'd be a tough man for the Japanese fight promoters to replace. That's when they had a great idea -- squid-ink-flavored breast milk in a single serving pouch! Only slightly less crazy was their next idea -- a 270-pound kickboxer named Mark Hunt.
Pictured above: The Incredible Hulk #181.
Hunt took the fight on three days' notice and outweighed Silva by two bags of quick dry cement. Following the Pacific Islander stereotype, Hunt can't be harmed by non-magical means and moves as if he's unaware that his body is carrying 100 extra pounds. It's possible Mark Hunt is a terminator robot wrapped in too many human disguises. He immediately showed the power mismatch by knocking Silva to the ground with a glancing blow. As most scholars know, Silva's DNA was spliced together from history's deadliest ape leaders, so he responded by getting up with a smile, throwing Hunt to the mat, and stomping on his head.
The fight went back and forth for six minutes, with Hunt trying to punch Silva's skull off and Silva trying to keep him on the mat where that was less likely. Several times, Silva looked dangerously close to landing a submission, so Hunt stood up and hydraulically fracked him with his fists. Silva responded the same way, stomping on Hunt's head from his back. That's when Hunt came up with two amazing plans: fuck it, and jump.
Mark Hunt's attack, based on the hit film Armageddon.
Was the Move Effective?
Not immediately. Hunt landed in a rolling heap and ended up underneath Silva, who remained there for most of the fight. However, the move dominated every highlight reel. They would replay one of Silva's head stomps or takedowns, then show Hunt sailing through the air from 60 different angles. It played so many times, the commentators ran out of ways to describe a flying ass, and Bas Rutten was left with only "It looks like Bas in Las Vegas when everybody in da pool and I make bombs. It's the best."
Aside from a few near murders, Hunt was dominated, and it went to the scorecards for what should have been an easy decision. However, the fight took place in Japan, and their judges have a unique method of scoring. First, they carefully check their notes. If one of the fighters was Japanese the whole fight, he won! If neither man had that honor, a fishmonger decides which fighter had the happiest blood type. In case of another tie, the judges simply ask innocent children which one looked and battled the most like Godzilla.
By that judging criteria, Mark Hunt wins every time.
Brian Ebersole's Cartwheel Kick
When you see Brian Ebersole, he resembles a mugshot more than a wacky guy. He shaves an absurd giant arrow into his chest hair before fights, but when you combine that with no other signs of silliness, it just looks like he was pranked by arresting officers. Still, few other men try as many insane moves during fights.
I'm a delight.
In March 2009, his opponent was Shannon Forrester. Forrester may hold the record for the shortest MMA career, since this was his first fight and he retired moments after Ebersole cartwheeled through his face's bones.
My high school had a pep club, so I already knew cartwheeling caused brain damage.
Was the Move Effective?
It's the method of travel for little girls; how bad could it hurt? Well, without getting too deep into the physics of it, Ebersole uses the centrifugal force of the cartwheel to pull all nearby happiness to the center of his body. This leaves his feet with nothing to feel but hate. Maybe it's better if you just witness it:
Anderson Silva's Reverse Uppercut Elbow
Anderson Silva wasn't always a patient and elusive counterfighter. In 2006 he fought Tony Fryklund and used his muay thai to lay siege to the man's ribs and head. Fryklund blocked most of the shots and seemed unaffected by the others, so Silva stopped to study his defense. After a careful look, he saw an opening between his hands and nonchalantly elbowed Fryklund into multiple sclerosis.
Was the Move Effective?
It makes no sense how Silva managed to generate enough power with this move to shut down a man's nervous system. If you approached 50 unsuspecting people and surprised each of them with a different kind of elbow strike, the person you hit with this one would still be your friend. And yet watch what happens when Silva throws it:
I included this move not only because he nearly beheaded a man with the same motion you'd use to take off a jacket, but because everyone should be reminded that Anderson Silva is a fight genius before reading this:
Anderson Silva's Disco Assault
There was a time not long ago when Anderson Silva seemed untouchable. His opponents moved in slow motion compared to him. There was one notable exception, when he literally took the most strikes anyone had ever taken in a UFC bout, and then he won. Which means that besides being faster than everyone, he was also immune to face punches. Some asshole was definitely cheating when they made Anderson Silva.
Silva began to realize he was invincible. Each fight he became more and more playful, dancing and slipping around his opponents' attacks before finally knocking them out. And why not? Fighting doesn't always have to be serious. For example ...
In Korea, this is how hot dogs are made.
In Silva's title defense against Chris Weidman, he started off with only dance moves and wiggles. This in itself isn't unusual for a first round. Most fighters like to feel out their opponent's range and timing before they attack. Watch the starting round of a traditional muay thai fight and you'd swear it was just two boys working up the courage to share a first kiss. However, Silva took it to the next level. It was five straight minutes of pointless bullying. I don't speak Portuguese, but I think his cornerman was screaming "Take his backpack! Pee on that queer's Dungeon Master Guide!"
Not since Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo has a battle fought only with dance confused its viewers more.
After the bell, Silva went back to his corner and everyone watching thought the same thing: "Oh man, he humiliated that guy. NOW he's going to kill him!" Except Silva forgot the second step in dickish fighting -- the fighting. Silva came out and kept fucking dancing. No one had ever tried this. Could you beat a man using only the power of dance?
He ducked, slipped, and dodged punches while making no effort to throw attacks of his own. It had long ago stopped making sense as a fight strategy; he was only hoping to hurt Weidman's feelings. I'm obviously speaking with the wisdom of hindsight, but imagine two men meet on a road. One has a bag of punches, while the other has a bag of dodges. The first man is going to look stupid for a little while, but the second man is going to look stupid forever.
Was the Move Effective?
No. Not at all. While Silva pranced, Weidman was free to try anything. The end came when Weidman combined a right cross with a right hammer fist, because if his opponent is only going to shimmy, he might as well use some of his fifth grade wing chun. Silva dodged both strikes, but in doing so tucked his chin against his own chest. It had nowhere to go as Weidman's left hook crushed his jaw bone into his brain stem. Silva's Soul Train line suddenly transformed into a medical film on how knockouts work. If you're an alien producing a video on the non-genital weak points of humans, you're not going to top this.
Prepare the platform for the final match. Punching! Versus! Jazzercise!
Anthony Pettis' Showtime Kick
If a writer listed the best anythings from every category or qualification imaginable, he or she will never have a more obvious choice for the #1 spot than this kick.
It never stops being awesome.
It happened at the start of the fifth round in their WEC championship fight. Anthony Pettis backed Ben Henderson into the cage, and Henderson casually circled out like a million fighters have done a million times before. If you've watched any UFC events from the last two years, you've seen highlights of what happened next: Pettis launched himself off the cage wall and made kick history on Henderson's head. The kick is so famous that Pettis' old socks sold a reality show to Bravo.
Everything about it was perfect -- the timing, the impact. Henderson's flowing pro wrestling hair even whipped back as if it was in on the plan to look as rad as possible. In basketball terms, it was Dr. J going behind the backboard. In baseball terms, it was Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard Round the World. In football terms, it was the brutally slain white woman.
Was the Move Effective?
Completely. It wasn't the hardest Pettis will ever kick anyone (you can see that in his fight against Joe Lauzon), but up until it landed, it was difficult to say who was winning. Despite Henderson getting up from it, the move single-footedly won Pettis the WEC title. Please enjoy it, probably for the 3,000th time: